Tag Archives: becoming wise

Listening To The Wise

Have you ever heard anyone speak that just blew your mind? For me, it was John Maxwell. I remember the first time I heard him speak. I was at a conference where he was one of the keynote speakers. When he started speaking, it was one wisdom bomb after another. I was furiously taking notes trying to capture it all. My friend and I kept looking at each other’s iPads to see what we missed. For an hour and a half, I did my best to try to keep up knowing that there was no way I could absorb everything he was saying. My only hope was to capture what he was saying in my notes and read it all again and again to try to understand it all. I later heard someone describe that hour and a half as trying to drink wisdom from a firehose. I thought it was the perfect analogy.

In 1 Kings 3, Solomon was visited by God in a dream and asked him what he would like to be given. Solomon recognized his youth and inexperience, as well as the gravity of trying to be the ruler of God’s chosen people. He asked for wisdom to rule well. God was pleased with that answer and gave him more wisdom and understanding than anyone else. It was quickly shown off by his decision to split the baby in half to determine who its real mother was. When word got out about that, people took notice. He began to compose proverbs, songs, and openly discussed many topics. Then, in 1 Kings 4:34, it says, “Kings all over the world heard of his wisdom and sent people to listen to him” (GNT). It got me to thinking, “Who am I listening to? Who are the wise people in my life that have been blessed by God to speak wisdom? Am I taking time to seek them out in order to listen and learn from them?” What about you? Have you answered these thought about these questions yet?

Proverbs 13:20 says, “If you want to grow in wisdom, spend time with the wise. Walk with the wicked and you’ll eventually become like them” (TPT). Your parents were right. You will become like those you are around. I would hear, “If you want to fly with eagles, you can’t spend your time on the ground walking around with turkeys.” It’s time for you to identify the eagles that God has placed in your life, take the initiative and fly up to where they are. One thing I’ve learned about the wise, they don’t hoard the gift they’ve been given. They freely give it out to those who seek to be around them. What they won’t do is seek you out to give it to you. It’s up to each one of us to make time to have godly wisdom poured into our life. If you can’t identify anyone, or you’re too shy to seek them out and ask for it, then read books by wise people. People of uncommon wisdom are a fountain of information and understanding. Are you thirsty enough to take a drink, even if it feels like it coming from a firehose?

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Removing Blind Spots

I remember taking Driver’s Ed. There came a time in the class where we took the instruction and put it into practice by driving around. When it was my turn to log some hours, he had me drive on the freeway for a while. There were times when he had to hit the brakes on his side of the car because I wouldn’t go slower than the speed of traffic. When I went to change lanes, the instructor asked me what I needed to check after I turned on my blinker. I replied, “My rear view and side mirror.” He then asked, “What else?” I shrugged. He told me I needed to look over my shoulder as well to check my blind spot. If I change lanes and hit a car, it’s my fault because I should have checked my blind spots. I’ve never forgotten those instructions.

We all have blind spots in our lives, and we all need instruction and correction too, but not all of us invite it into our lives. In Exodus 18, Moses’ father in law had heard all of the great things Moses had done for his people, so he went to meet him. The next day he saw Moses judging the people and how inefficient it was. After asking a few questions about it, he said, “Moses’ father-in-law said to him in Exodus 18:17-18, “The thing that you are doing is not good. You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you [to bear]; you cannot do it alone” (AMP). He gave Moses a better way to do it. Instead of responding, “I’m in charge here and don’t need your help,” Moses listened to the counsel, received the instructions and accepted the correction. How do you respond when someone does that to you?

Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” Counsel is an outside perspective that helps guide us so we don’t hit things, or people, in our blind spots. Instruction is someone else telling us how do something we often think we know how to do. Correction is being told we’re in the wrong. All three are often hard to receive because of our pride. If we’re willing to put aside our pride, and invite these three things into our life with an open heart and mind, we will achieve far more than we ever could without it. We will also have better relationships with the people around us because we won’t be bumping into them in our blind spots as much. The key is for us to invite it into our lives or to accept it when someone else, including an in law, is offering it.

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Finding Wisdom

When Carlos Beltrán retired from baseball, he wrote a letter to other players giving them wisdom. He started off his letter saying the best advice he ever got was from a golfer named Chi Chi Rodríguez. Here’s a snippet of what he wrote:

I remember in 1999 — when I was named Rookie of the Year — he approached me.

“Carlos,” he said, “what do you want to accomplish in life?”

I said, “I want to be successful, Chi Chi … successful at the game of baseball.”

And he said to me, “Oh, that’s super simple.”

I was confused. Simple? Was this a joke?

So I said to him, “If it’s so simple, why don’t you see more successful baseball players? Why can you only count the very best in the league on only two hands?”

He put his hand on my shoulder.

“To be successful in life, Carlos, you have to surround yourself with successful people. You can’t be afraid to ask questions to those people that you look up to.”

He goes on to say how as he played for 7 teams throughout his 19 year career in the Majors and 9 All Star Games, he made it a point to approach the best players in the locker room and ask them questions about how to they got better and what advice they would give. To his surprise, every one of them took time to answer his questions and help him improve.

It reminds me of when Queen Sheba traveled to Israel to meet Solomon in 2 Chronicles 9. She approached him and asked him all the hard questions she could think of. The Bible says Solomon answered them all. Verses 22 – 23 say, “King Solomon was richer and wiser than any other king in the world. They all consulted him, to hear the wisdom that God had given him” (GNT). Solomon took time to answer the questions of other kings too.

Proverbs 3:13 says, “Those who find true wisdom obtain the tools for understanding, the proper way to live, for they will have a fountain of blessing pouring into their lives. To gain the riches of wisdom is far greater than gaining the wealth of the world” (TPT). Each of us need more wisdom than we have today. Who has God placed in your life that you can draw wisdom from? Set up a time to meet with them and have questions already prepared. You’ll find that they will make time for you and pass on their wisdom, but only if you’re willing to ask.

If you want to read the whole letter from Carlos Beltrán, click here.

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Seeking Godly Wisdom

We live in an interesting time. For the first time in the history of the world, people value knowledge over wisdom. They are two very different things though. Knowledge is all about what you know. Wisdom is how you use knowledge. I like to tell my son, “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable. Wisdom is not putting in a fruit salad.” Knowledge is gained through learning (or in today’s world, Googling), but wisdom is learned through making mistakes or learning from other’s mistakes. To value knowledge over wisdom is very dangerous, and I believe it will have serious repercussions on the future.

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon, who is considered the wisest person to ever live. He recognized early on after becoming king that knowledge would on,y take him so far as a ruler. He asked God for wisdom in how to lead his people and God opened the flood gates. His example is one you and I should follow. Knowledge is good, but we need godly wisdom in how we steward everything God has given us. God imparts wisdom to those who ask because He values wisdom and He has plenty to give us.

Proverbs 2:6-7 says, “For the LORD gives [skillful and godly] wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores away sound wisdom for the righteous [those who are in right standing with Him]” (AMP). Just like parents on earth want to give their children the wisdom to make the best decisions in life, God wants to give wisdom to us as His children. All we have to do is go to Him in prayer and ask Him to help us make the best decisions in our relationships, our finances and in our choices. He has a storehouse full of it to give out once we seek it.

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Seeking Wisdom

My son recently asked me, “Dada, do I have a lot of knowledge?” I replied, “Yes, for someone your age. What you really want though is wisdom.” He then wanted to know what wisdom was and how to get it. I explained that knowledge was easy to come by, but wisdom only comes in one of two ways. You can gain it from learning from your mistakes or God can give it to you. Since we all make mistakes, we all have the opportunity to gain wisdom. The problem is that most of us would rather beat ourselves up over failure rather than to see it as a place to grow.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Solomon. When he became king of Israel, God let him ask for one thing. Solomon asked for wisdom to rule the people, and God blessed him for that request. I believe you and I can ask for that too. This world is getting more complicated by the minute, and Christians are in need of wisdom now more than ever. Pray that God would give you wisdom over your finances, your relationships and how you share the Gospel. I believe God will honor that prayer.

Here are some Bible verses on wisdom.

1. Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality.

ROMANS 12:10-13 AMP

2. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2:6 NLT

3. Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money; choose insight over income every time.

Proverbs 16:16 MSG

4. Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people].

EPHESIANS 5:15 AMP

5. But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.

James 1:5 GNT

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Walking In Wisdom


One of the greatest disparities between people today and every other generation in history is the amount of knowledge that is so readily available. In the past, knowledge was handed down from books and elders. Today, the internet has everything you need to know. I’ve used YouTube to learn how to do mechanical work on my car, cook dinner, learn about history and so much more. Living in the age of the internet has definitely increased people’s knowledge.

What it hasn’t done is increase wisdom. I believe because we have forgotten the difference between the two. Knowledge puffs up, but wisdom builds up. Since time began, wisdom has been passed down from elders. With all the knowledge available, we have forgotten to walk with the wise to gain wisdom. God’s desire is that you and I grow in wisdom. Remember, it was the Tree of Knowledge that brought sin into the world. God isn’t against us being knowledgeable, but He understands that knowledge without wisdom is dangerous.

Here are some Bible verses on wisdom. 

1. Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
Proverbs 28:26 NLT

2. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5 HCSB

3. Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight.
Proverbs 4:7 GNT

4. Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.
Job 12:12 NLT

5. He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.
PROVERBS 13:20 AMP

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Walking With The Wise


Recently, I was sitting in a room with several other ministers. One by one they began to share their heart and the things they are doing. I began to feel insecure and fear came over me because my turn was coming up. I panicked and wanted to leave. It’s not often I feel this way. The next morning, a friend sent me a video from John Maxwell where he discussed how being around people who are better than you is a good thing. It put things back into perspective.

Proverbs 13:20 tells us that if we want to be wise, we must keep company with the wise. To be better at anything, including become more wise, we are going to have to be around people who are better than us. We have to put ourselves in position to admit we’re not the best at something, become vulnerable, and then take time to learn from them. Each of us have room for growth, but that only happens when we are around people who are further along than we are.

Here are some Bible verses on wisdom.

1. The value of wisdom is more Than coral or crystal or rubies.
Job 28:18 GNT

2. The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the instruction for wisdom [its starting point and its essence]; And before honor comes humility.
PROVERBS 15:33 AMP

3. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Proverbs 4:7 NLT

4. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
James 3:17-18 MSG

5. But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.
James 1:5 GNT

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